Livable streets: a platform for national political success

In the USA, talk of implementing livable streets policies at the national level has ignited the usual rural-urban standoff, wherein rural areas accustomed to receiving generous road subsidies are sniping at the idea that new rules might reward metropolitan areas for being more productive and efficient.

Yet in Colombia, the picture looks quite different: on Sunday, the country may well elect Antanas Mockus as the world’s first Green Party head of state; he’s a former Bogotá mayor who championed that city’s numerous public space initiatives. And, of course, South Korea’s president Lee Myung-bak — “the bulldozer” — won his reputation as mayor of Seoul by fulfilling a campaign promise to demolish the freeway covering the Cheonggyecheon river.